PRISONERS: Amnesty for the Defense

The atrocity stories flow into the spartan London headquarters of Amnesty International from all over the world: political prisoners beaten, shocked, drugged or maimed for the crime of criticizing their government. Says American Lawyer James Becket, who is preparing a worldwide survey of the subject for A.I.: "Rulers of the past often openly institutionalized torture to better defend their power and privilege. Their counterparts today solemnly deny it publicly while they are busily refining the technology of torture and the theory of order without law."

In a sobering, 40-page report issued in...

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